Samantha Maker is a 27-year-old entrepreneur whose CILQUE (pronounced silk) line of bedding – which she launched just under a year ago – brings accessible luxury to your bedroom. Find out more about this driven young entrepreneur in today’s YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
CILQUE [s•ilk], offers sensual 100 per cent silk bedding that transforms your sleeping experience to one of lavish luxury. There are tons of health and beauty benefits to sleeping on silk, and our customers get these as well as fashionable and detailed bedding. All of our products are crafted using premium silk that is machine washable.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
After learning about all of the benefits to sleeping on silk, I wanted to purchase silk bedding for myself and didn’t find anything I liked in the marketplace. The silk that was offered wasn’t a nice quality, couldn’t be machine washed, or was overpriced. After travelling in the summer and stepping outside of my day-to-day element, I realized this was a venture that I could and should do.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is continuously developing and growing our product line. It is very rewarding to hear our customers say they love their purchase and get a great sleep from it. The most challenging part is becoming known and getting the word out that CILQUE exists. Also converting cotton sleepers to sleeping on silk.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
I see CILQUE becoming a destination brand that is sold online and in upscale boutiques across North America, and offering more variations of our products.
What does success look like to you?
In business, success is strong relationships, customer loyalty, repeat business, and the ability to better peoples’ lives through your products and services. In life…that’s a whole other interview…
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
One of my first sales: a US television show, which airs on Showcase, ordered bedding for their set to create the scene of a high-end condominium. That’s when I knew we were doing something right.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Many people say “fail fast,” but it takes time to build a business, especially at the beginning. If you know in your gut you will be well positioned in the marketplace then go for it and get a good umbrella for the stormy days. Get as much help as you can and don’t do it alone, swallow your ego, do things that make you uncomfortable, and stay on top of what is happening in your industry.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
CILQUE supports W.A.T.C.H., a foundation for underprivileged kids in Toronto. Our philosophy is to work with anyone who is making a positive impact on Toronto, Ontario, and Canada. It is important because we want the community to support our business and in turn it is our responsibility to support the community.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry. O Canada.
Working long hours? What is your “go-to” for a quick boost of energy?
A mid-day workout.
What is Notable to you?